Friday, February 18, 2011

Ozone Park Company Looking to Join City's Bike Share Program by Lisa A. Fraser -Leader-Observer

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Worksman Cycles in Ozone Park has been making industrial-grade bicycles and tricycles for 112 years. And now, the company, located at 94-15 100th Street, is hoping that the city picks up their bid to be part of the Department of Transportation's new bike share program.

“All of our 112 years has been spent in New York City, our factories, our offices, so it's only the right choice for the city to work with us on this,” said Wayne Sosin, president of Worksman Cycles.

The cycle manufacturer has a history of providing bikes to various bike-share programs around the country, including Princeton's bike share program, University of Colorado's bike share program, and the University of Central Oklahoma's bike share program.

“We're the perfect resource, given our history, employment and logistics,” Sosin said.

The company has also provided bikes to the Queens Zoo, which uses their tricycles, and the Queens Botanical Garden is set to start rolling with a new batch of bikes provided by the company come spring.

The company hires locally and Sossin noted that all of his 50 employees of the factory are all New York City residents. “We're all local, they all work within a bike ride,” he said.

This local employment is another reason why Worksman Cycles hopes to be picked up by the city and it's a reason local elected officials Senator Joe Addabbo, Assemblyman Mike Miller and Councilman Eric Ulrich are promoting the company.

“I don't see why the city shouldn't choose them, it's a positive,” said Addabbo. “They're credible, they're long-withstanding, and they are a business that could do the job given their history.”

Addabbo and Sosin both stressed that it would be a benefit to the city to not only have a great program, but to say they are also using a local manufacturer. “It's an opportunity of unity, it's a good program and a good manufacturer,” Addabbo said.

If the city picks Worksman Cycles to provide the bikes for the program, it will mean a new employment opportunity for the area, something Addabbo said the neighborhood needs.

The program, which will begin in 2012, is set to require between 10,000 and 50,000 bikes and Worksman would be looking at hiring anywhere between 35 and 50 people.

Worksman Cycles is one of the oldest bike manufacturers in the country. First started in Manhattan, the company moved around Brooklyn before calling Ozone Park their new home in 1979.